One of the first standing armies, of which 
we have any distinct account in any well 
authenticated history, is that of Philip of 
Macedon. His frequent wars with the Thracians
Illyrians, Thessalians, and some of the 
Greek cities in the neighbourhood of Macedon
gradually formed his troops, which in 
the beginning were probably militia, to the 
exact discipline of a standing army. When 
he was at peace, which he was very seldom, 
and never for any long time together, he was 
careful not to disband that army. It vanquished 
and subdued, after a long and violent 
struggle, indeed, the gallant and well 
exercised militias of the principal republics 
of ancient Greece; and afterwards, with very 
little struggle, the effeminate and ill exercised 
militia of the great Persian empire. The 
fall of the Greek republics, and of the Persian 
empire was the effect of the irresistible 
superiority which a standing army has over 
every other sort of militia. It is the first 
great revolution in the affairs of mankind of 
which history has preserved any distinct and 
circumstantial account. 
The fall of Carthage, and the consequent 
elevation of Rome, is the second. All the 
varieties in the fortune of those two famous 
republics may very well be accounted for from 
the same cause. 
From the end of the first to the beginning 
of the second Carthaginian war, the armies 
of Carthage were continually in the field, and 
employed under three great generals, who 
succeeded one another in the command
Amilcar, his son-in-law Asdrubal, and his 
son Annibal: first in chastising their own 
rebellious slaves, afterwards in subduing the 
revolted nations of Africa; and lastly, in 
conquering the great kingdom of Spain. The 
army which Annibal led from Spain into 
Italy must necessarily, in those different 
wars, have been gradually formed to the 
exact discipline of standing army. The 
Romans, in the meantime, though they had 
not been altogether at peace, yet they had 
not, during this period, been engaged in any 
war of very great consequence; and their 
military discipline, it is generally said, was a 
good deal relaxed. The Roman armies 
which Annibal encountered at Trebi, Thrasymenus
and Cannæ, were militia opposed to 
a standing army. This circumstance, it is 
probable, contributed more than any other to 
determine the fate of those battles
The standing army which Annibal left 
behind him in Spain had the like superiority 
over the militia which the Romans sent to 
oppose it; and, in a few years, under the 
command of his brother, the younger Asdrubal
expelled them almost entirely from 
that country. 
Annibal was ill supplied from home. The 
Roman militia, being continually in the field
became, in the progress of the war, a well 
disciplined and well exercised standing army
and the superiority of Annibal grew every 
day less and less. Asdrubal judged it necessary 
to lead the whole, or almost the 
whole, of the standing army which he commanded 
in Spain, to the assistance of his 
brother in Italy. In this march, he is said 
to have been misled by his guides; and in a 
country which he did not know, was surprised 
and attacked, by another standing 
army, in every respect equal or superior to 
his own, and was entirely defeated
When Asdrubal had left Spain, the great 
Scipio found nothing to oppose him but a 
militia inferior to his own. He conquered 
and subdued that militia, and, in the course 
of the war, his own militia necessarily became 
a well disciplined and well exercised standing 
army. That standing army was afterwards 
carried to Africa, where it found nothing but 
a militia to oppose it. In order to defend 
Carthage, it became necessary to recal the 
standing army of Annibal. The disheartened 
and frequently defeated African militia joined 
it, and, at the battle of Zama, composed the 
greater part of the troops of Annibal. The 
event of that day determined the fate of the 
two rival republics
From the end of the second Carthaginian 
war till the fall of the Roman republic, the 
armies of Rome were in every respect standing 
armies. The standing army of Macedon 
made some resistance to their arms. In the 
height of their grandeur, it cost them two 
great wars, and three great battles, to subdue 
that little kingdom, of which the conquest 
would probably have been still more difficult
had it not been for the cowardice of its last 
king. The militias of all the civilized nations 
of the ancient word, of Greece, of Syria, 
and of Egypt, made but a feeble resistance 
to the standing armies of Rome. The militias 
of some barbarous nations defended 
themselves much better. The Scythian or 
Tartar militia, which Mithridates drew from 
the countries north of the Euxine and Caspian 
seas, were the most formidable enemies 
whom the Romans had to encounter after the 
second Carthaginian war. The Parthian and 
German militias, too, were always respectable
and upon several occasions, gained very considerable 
advantages over the Roman armies
In general, however, and when the Roman 
armies were well commanded, they appear to 
have been very much superior; and if the 
Romans did not pursue the final conquest 
either of Parthia or Germany, it was probably 
because they judged that it was not worth 
while to add those two barbarous countries to 
an empire which was already too large. The 
ancient Parthians appear to have been a nation 
of Scythian or Tartar extraction, and to 
have always retained a good deal of the manners 
of their ancestors. The ancient Germans 
were, like the Scythians or Tartars, a